Blog Posts by Sid Ventura

  • UP keeps lead in UAAP football

    This free kick by Nii Aryee Ayi in the second half led to UP's fourth goal of the match. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

    After a slow start in the first round, defending champion University of the Philippines appears to have cranked it up several notches in the second round, winning its third straight match —an emphatic 4-0 thrashing of La Salle — yesterday to cling on to the overall lead in the UAAP men's football tournament at the rain-soaked Ateneo High School pitch.

    With the win, the Maroons sit atop the standings with 16 points with two games left, just a point ahead of University of Sto. Tomas, which blanked Ateneo, 2-0, to stay within striking distance of the top spot and the coveted twice-to-beat advantage that goes with it. The two sides tangle this Wednesday at 10AM in a crucial match that will help determine the top seed.

    A UP-UST final isn't a done deal yet, though, as Far Eastern University kept its finals bid a live with a 1-nil win over University of the East to move up to 11 points. The Tamaraws collide with the Blue Eagles on Wednesday, before they wrap up their campaign against the

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  • Jayjay sinks game winner in ‘Helter’-skelter finish

    Jay-jay Helterbrand started the game with new Kings Kerby Raymundo and Dylan Ababou. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

    The Barangay Ginebra Kings are probably glad that Jay-jay Helterbrand put his retirement plans on hold. Otherwise, the storied franchise would have been denied of another one of its trademark down-to-the-wire victories.

    The Kings point guard, who used the recent Philippine Cup as a gauge to see if he could still hack it in the pro league, decided to return for the Commissioner's Cup and showed he made the right decision by burying a tough jumper at the buzzer to lift the crowd favorite Kings to a pulsating 84-82 win over the Petron Blaze Boosters.

    Petron import Nick Fazekas had earlier tied the game with a booming triple with 3.9 seconds left in a wild sequence that saw Petron come up with two broken plays before Chris Lutz drove to the basket and kicked it out to Fazekas.

    "The play was really for Jay-jay, but coaches don't make the plays. It's up to the players," Ginebra coach Siot Tanquincen said. "I'm thankful that Jay-jay and Mark (Caguioa) are big-time players.


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  • David saddened by reported trade

    Gary David talks to the media. With him are Renren Ritualo, Mac Cardona and Mark Caguioa. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

    Gary David, Powerade's chief gunner who towed the eighth-seeded Tigers into the Philippine Cup finals last month, feels sad about news of a trade that would send teammate Marcio Lassiter to Petron Blaze in exchange for Nonoy Baclao and Rey Guevarra.

    "Of course, I felt sad when I heard the news," said David, who averaged 25.8 points in the Philippine Cup. "But I also know that it's part of the business. I understand, I'm also a player. We players can't do anything about it. The only thing we can control is our game. We just have to give it our best all the time."

    David and Lassiter are two-thirds of Powerade's vaunted Big Three. Along with JV Casio, they form what Talk 'N Text coach Chot Reyes calls the best wingmen rotation in the league. The proposed trade is still up for approval by Commissioner Chito Salud, and some have questioned the motive behind the trade in the wake of reports that the Powerade franchise will be re-absorbed by the San Miguel group.

    Although Baclao was a top

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  • GAB airs its side on Maquinto tragedy

    It's been a week now since boxer Karlo Maquinto tragically died, six days after lapsing into a coma following his eight-round bout with Mark Joseph Costa at the Recom Dome in Caloocan City. The fight ended in a majority draw, with two judges scoring it an even 75-75 and a third scoring it 75-74, with Costa getting deducted a point in Round 4 for repeatedly spitting out his mouthpiece. Costa decked Maquinto twice in the second round, although Maquinto came back strong to nearly floor Costa in the very same round. Costa was close to going down but was saved by the bell.

    After the decision was announced, Maquinto walked back to his corner. He never made it, collapsing along the way and losing consciousness. According the Games and Amusements Board report, Maquinto "was immediately taken by the stand-by ambulance at the FEU hospital by GAB's Medical Chief, Dr. Radentor Viernes with assistance of the Rescue Medical Team deployed by the city government of Caloocan."

    There has been some

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  • Giving disabled Filipinos a lift

    Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

    Ask any Filipino you meet on the street who won our last Olympic medal, and chances are you'd get the right answer: Onyok Velasco, who won a silver in boxing in the 1996 Atlanta Games. But ask that same person to name the only differently-abled athlete who has won our only medal in the Paralympic Games, and most likely he'll need to search for the answer on the Internet.

    The answer is Adeline Dumapong, a 38-year-old powerlifter who won the bronze medal in the 2000 Sydney Paralympics, and who hopes to inspire other differently-abled Filipinos to use sports as a means to achieve equality in society.

    "We're using sports to fight for equality," says Adeline, who has represented the country in various international competitions. "There has to be a paradigm shift, even among the disabled. Madami sa amin, sa mga katulad kong may kapansanan, naghihintay. Gusto nila na ma-treat equally, pero gusto rin nila, special treatment sila."

    Adeline, who competes in the +82.5 kilogram division for

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  • Wheelchair Warriors

    Players wait for the rebound. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

    Basketball is the Philippines' national pastime, a sport played in every street corner in the country with such passion and grit. Thus it's not surprising that in the ongoing Philippine Para National Games at the Marikina Sports Park, the wheelchair basketball tournament is one of the most competitive and hotly contested.

    Never mind if dribbling a basketball and pushing a wheelchair at the same time requires unbelievable coordination. These guys aren't about to let their disability get in the way of playing a good game of basketball.

    In the ongoing Para National Games basketball tournament, there are eight wheelchair teams vying for top honors, with the Tahanang Walang Hagdan team a slight favorite to win it all.

    I caught the tail end of the elimination round game between TWH and the QC Stallions last Friday afternoon, which TWH eventually won, 67-52. Although I saw only a few minutes of action, I saw enough to make me conclude that wheelchair basketball poses its own unique

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  • Donaire annexes jr. featherweight title

    Nonito Donaire, Jr. joined Manny Pacquiao as the only Filipino fighters to win championships in at least four different weight classes after the Filipino Flash scored a split decision over Wilfredo Vazquez of Puerto Rico to win the World Boxing Organization junior featherweight title in San Antonio, Texas.

    Donaire dominated the fight in the early rounds before Vazquez came back to win the middle rounds and make it interesting. But Donaire sealed the deal in the ninth when he dropped Vazquez with a crunching left uppercut and left hook. The Puerto Rican got back up, but he wasn't the same fighter afterwards as Donaire controlled the remaining rounds.

    Two judges had it 117-110 for Donaire, while a third judge incredibly had Vazquez winning by a score of 115-112.

    After winning belts at flyweight, junior bantamweight (interim title), and bantamweight, Donaire annexed his fourth world title. He had said prior to the fight that junior featherweight appeared right for him, since he didn't

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  • PHILSPADA chairman Mike Barredo speaks at Para Games opening. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

    The Philippine Sports Commission-Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled (PSC-PHILSPADA) Philippine Para National Games is ongoing at the Marikina Sports Park with around 550 differently-abled athletes from all over the country participating in 10 sporting events. The PHILSPADA is headed by its chairman Mike Barredo, a former PSC commissioner who has worked tirelessly to promote the rights of the differently-abled, particularly in sports.

    I caught up with Chairman Barredo shortly after the opening ceremonies of the Para Games yesterday, and he talked about the games, what still needs to be done to get more differently-abled Filipinos into sports, and our prospects in the coming Paralympics. Excerpts:

    How significant are these particular Para Games?

    The significance of it is the fact that government and private organizations — PSC, PHILSPADA, POC and other government agencies — have gotten together to work towards an event that will promote the abilities and sports

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  • Para Nat’l Games get going in Marikina

    A participant in the Para National Games takes part in the torch relay. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

    The city of Marikina formally welcomed differently-abled athletes from all over the country as it opened the Philippine Para National Games in simple opening rites this morning at the Marikina Sports Park.

    The opening ceremonies were graced by Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled, National Paralympic Committee (PHILSPADA-NPC) Chairman Mike Barredo, Philippine Sports Commission commissioners Jose Luis Gomez and Akiko Thomson-Guevara, Mr. Cesar Motaces of the Department of Interior and Local Government, and Victoriano Sabiniano, Jr., City Administrator of Marikina who represented Mayor Del De Guzman.

    The Games will bring together over 500 differently abled athletes from all over the countrywho will compete for medals in athletics, swimming, table tennis, powerlifting, badminton, chess, goalball, tenpin bowling, and wheelchair basketball plus the demonstration sports boccia, cycling and wheelchair tennis. Differently abled athletes include those who are amputees,

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  • WWFX stars ready to rumble

    John Hennigan answers a question at the press conference. (Photo by Sid Ventura)

    Everything's set for the World Wrestling Fan Xperience (WWFX) Champions Showcase Tour that reels off tomorrow at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with a seven-bout card, including the main event where the first-ever WWFX world champion will be crowned.

    The grapplers featured on the card met with the press earlier today, and in typical pro wrestling fashion, engaged in some entertaining trash talking and verbal sparring to build up their respective matches.

    Veteran Billy Gun (yes, just one "n" because the name "Billy Gunn" is owned by the World Wrestling Entertainment), who at 48 is easily the oldest wrestler on the card, will go up against a younger opponent in Jimmy Yang, and he couldn't help make fun of their age difference.

    "I'm looking forward to it, actually. I've watched Jimmy a long time, but probably not as long as he's watched me growing up," Gun quipped. "But it'll be entertaining anyway, because that's what my career has come down to, is being entertaining. Less on offense and

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